|Poster:||dead-head_Monte||Date:||Nov 3, 2011 8:22am|
|Forum:||occupywallstreet||Subject:||Re: Big Banks, George Soros, and the one percent club|
• Goldman Sachs vs. Occupy Wall Street: a controversy in the banking communityRe: George Soros (1 % club), Billionaires (1 % club), and Insider Trading (1 % club)
Greg Palast investigates the story behind Goldman Sachs’ recent decision to pull out of a fundraiser for the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union in New York City after it learned the event was honoring the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. The investment bank withdrew its name from the fundraiser and also canceled a $5,000 pledge. Was the $5,000 a Goldman Sachs donation or actually American taxpayer bailout money Goldman set aside for community banks?
Greg Palast, is an investigative reporter with the BBC and author of the books Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His next book, out in November, is called Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores.
• Greg Palast interview, 25 Oct 2011
• Greg Palast appearances on Democracy Now news hour
• In 1988, Soros's trading activities included his strategy of accumulating shares in four French companies: Société Générale, as well as Suez, Paribas and the Compagnie Générale d’Électricité.
In 1989, the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (COB) conducted an investigation of whether Soros' transaction in Société Générale should be considered insider trading. The COB is the French stock exchange regulatory authority. The COB concluded that the statutes, regulations and case law relating to insider trading did not clearly establish that a crime had occurred, and that no charges should be brought against Soros.
Several years later, a Paris-based prosecutor reopened the case against Soros and two other French businessmen, disregarding the COB's findings. This resulted in Soros' 2005 conviction for insider trading by the Court of Appeals (he was the only one of the three to receive a conviction). The French Supreme Court confirmed the conviction on June 14, 2006, but reduced the penalty to the minimum.
Punitive damages were not sought because of the delay in bringing the case to trial. Soros denied any wrongdoing, saying news of the takeover was public knowledge and it was documented that his intent to acquire shares of the company predated his own awareness of the takeover.
His insider trading conviction was upheld by the highest court in France on June 14, 2006. In December 2006, he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights on various grounds including that the 14-year delay in bringing the case to trial precluded a fair hearing. On the basis of Article 7 of the European convention on human rights, stating that no person may be punished for an act that was not a criminal offense at the time that it was committed, the Court agreed to hear the appeal. In October 2011, the court rejected his appeal in a 4–3 decision, saying that Soros has been aware of the risk of breaking insider trading laws.